There's six weeks left in the 2006 regular season. The Reds are 2.5 games behind St. Louis for the division and lead San Diego and Arizona by 2 games in the wildcard and Philly by 2.5 games.
Speak up. Be heard. Lay your anty down and go on record.
Does this Reds team end the 10-year playoff drought and make it into the big dance?
On the plus side...
-An offense that can absolutely bury pitchers at times
-Plenty of energy
-A great clubhouse, seemingly
-A very strong desire to win win this thing
-A GM that isn't taking 'no' for an answer and an owner that's not giving any no's
-Much improved defense
-An improved bullpen
-Decent starters that can at least hold their own with any pitcher
-So far so good with Kyle Lohse as a fifth starter
-Fans are starting to take this seriously
On the down side...
-Offense is still streaky
-Bronson Arroyo has not been excellent lately, just good
-Bullpen still has issues sometimes - especially with health
-Starters aren't pitching deep enough into the games lately
-Reds need to put together a streak of victories to put some distance in the standings
-Very scary West Coast road trip coming up
-How will Junior fare down the stretch? Can he get a second wind?
-Every time this team appears to be fading, it gets a second life - partly because no one else is stepping up. Will the next losing streak be their last?
I'm in the game, and I'll see the bet and raise.
I think the positives outweigh the negatives given the current NL landscape. In most years, I don't think Cincinnati makes it, but I think this team has that extra 'umph' to get in the playoffs. The team really believes in themselves and has shown an uncanny ability to bounce back from every major setback so far this season.